an exhibition by Ananda Balingit-Lefils and Janae Easton
Ananda Balingit-Lefils: Artist Statement
These works are an investigation into portraiture as a way to depict archetypal characters and larger abstract themes through the subjects of friends and family. I am interestedin the static nature and artifice inherent in the posed portrait. I am inspired by early American folk paintings and Olan Mills style photos, and seek to depict the tender awkwardness that those works exemplify. Both fabricated and factual, character traits are revealed through landscapes, interiors, clothing, patterns and props. Each component may suggest a particular time period. However, I intentionally choose elements from disparate eras so that the innate nostalgia is less specific.
These works use portraiture as a way to depict archetypal characters and larger abstract themes through ancient allegorical imagery, 16th century illustrations and vintage kitsch.
The work of Janae Easton often puts the intuitive over the conceptual. Pushing tensions between representational and abstraction in the forms she chooses.
Dealing with hidden illness’, several overlapping chronic immune diseases, has led to the series Coaxing Beauty Out of Pain. The bouquets require an introspection of what the interior of the body looks like, the landscape of pain, which fluctuates daily. While pain can be difficult the bouquets create a form of abstract beauty that creates the act of healing. This notion is supported by the Japanese belief of Wabi Sabi that
“Beauty can be coaxed out of Ugliness.”
– Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designer, Poets, and Philosphers, Leornard Koren
In addition to the forms the artist has chosen, the repetition of line also allows for one to concentrate on simply being with out the distraction of having to make decisions artistic or otherwise. This overlaps with the clay work where the process of playing with the clay or forming the clay allows her to just be. This is a counterbalance to the problem solving of the finished sculpture.
A continuous them in Easton’s work is the notion that new things emerge out of nothingness. Giving space to examine moments in between what is often rushed filled spaces. These visual manifestations are often portrayed visually in pattern, color and intense repetition.
For more information on the artist please visit their website: